Massive Sahara dust cloud causes Europe’s air pollution to spike

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A massive dust cloud from the Sahara Desert has covered parts of southern and central Europe over the past few days and has caused a short, but sharp, spike in air pollution across the impacted areas. 

The European Commission’s Copernicus satellite monitoring program showed on Sunday that measured levels of particles smaller than 10 micrometers (PM10s) have increased in cities such as Barcelona, Lyon, and Marseille.  

PM10 particles can cause breathing difficulties by entering the lungs, give asthma attacks, or lead to other health problems. Fortunately, the concentration levels of Sahara Dust did not increase enough to be considered harmful.